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Mobile World Congress has moved way beyond its origins as a place for mobile networking equipment vendors and handset companies to meet with mobile operators. These days it’s also a big meeting point for the various companies in the app ecosystem including the mobile advertising and app marketing networks. The hall with the biggest buzz is really App Planet where the majority of mobile ad company exhibition stands are located. Just walking around here you can really take the pulse of the industry and see who’s hot, who’s not and what the trends in the marketplace are. You can check out our review of mobile advertising and app marketing trends at Mobile World Congress 2013 here.

This year a few things were apparent:

Mobile Ad Networks Are Dead – the likes of Mojiva and Madvertise were nowhere to be seen whilst many of the remaining mobile ad networks were repositioning themselves as DSPs, SSPs or app advertising services
Long Live Mobile Ad Networks – on the other hand there still seems to be plenty of life in the mobile ad network model in some areas with the likes of Millennial Media and InMobi continuing to have a big presence and launching new services in areas such as RTB, analytics and app marketing
The Rise of In-App and In-Game Ad Platforms – there are also a lot of players offering app advertising or game advertising solutions such as Leadbolt, SuperSonicAds, appOptim or Startapp.
Growth in Analytics – plenty of companies offering app analytics solutions this year ranging from app tracking services like ADX, Mobile App Tracking/ Has Offers, Kochava to the appstore data providers like App Annie and Distimo
Retargeting and Engagement – this seems to be another exciting area which has been bubbling away for a while but now appears to be approaching prime time with the likes of Ad4Screen, TapCommerce and others showing off app retargeting solutions
The desktop adtech companies come to the party – there seemed to be a bigger presence from the desktop internet ad companies like Rubicon, Pubmatic, Appnexus and Criteo this year – it remains to be seen whether they will crush the mobile upstarts as the likes of adexchanger.com are claiming or whether the mobile ad market is growing so fast that it will sweep away the old guard …
As usual, we managed to take a few pictures of all the mobile advertising and app marketing related companies booths we could find and here’s a few notes on each. Hopefully this helps give a flavour of everything going on at this year’s mobile world congress for those who couldn’t make it.